Detroit Red Wings Alumni

 

Detroit Red Wings Alumni

 

The purpose of the Red Wings Alumni Association has changed over the years. Today, as in the past, the Red Wings Alumni Association meets monthly for fellowship and to outline plans for future charitable events. The Alumni Association raises money by playing some 25 charity games each season throughout Michigan and Ontario. The team is made up of former Red Wing and National Hockey League players, along with a few ex-college stars.

The main philosophy of the organization has not changed over the years; have fun and enjoy fellowship as a group, while raising money for charitable organizations and people in need of financial assistance. Each year, the Red Wings Alumni donates in excess of $40,000 to various charities in Michigan and Ontario. These donations are above and beyond any money raised directly through the charitable events which can reach as high as $100,000 plus in any given year. 

All of these player contributions are put into perspective by the fact that they did not earn millions of dollars during their playing career. Each player also has responsibilities off the ice that keep them busy on a full-time basis. The easy thing for them to do would be to say they are too busy or too tired to play in a charity game. However, that's not the case. Many of these men perform harder than their doctors would like to see. But they do it for the game they love, the game that has been good to them and for the less fortunate in the community.

Why is the Red Wings Alumni more successful than most other NHL alumni organizations? The most obvious answer is time. As one of the Original Six NHL teams, the Detroit Red Wings have a long and storied history. Some of the organizations original members date back to the 1940's and 50's, including Black Jack Stewart, Jimmy Peters, Sid Abel, Gordie Howe and Normie Smith.

When you look down the roster today you see great names spanning the history of hockey, including Alex Delvecchio, Ted Lindsay, Dino Ciccarelli, Joe Kocur, Dennis Hextall, Nick Libett, Eddie Mio, Shawn Burr, Kevin Miller, Kris Draper and John Ogrodnick. The fans also get to see the stars of other NHL teams that live in or are from the Southeast Michigan and Southern Ontario area.
Players such as Wayne Presley (Chicago Blackhawks), Craig Wolanin (Quebec Nordiques), Bryan Smolinski (Boston Bruins), Pat Peake and Paul MacKinnon (Washington Capitals), Tom Williams and Rob Palmer (LA Kings) and many more.

The Red Wings Alumni provide their own referees to call a fair game. Jimmy Peters Sr. played for the Red Wings, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks during the 1940's and 50's and, until a few years ago, Peters played in the Alumni games. He has since become a referee who is ably assisted by Joe Klukay, a former Toronto Maple Leaf and four-time Stanley Cup Champion.

The Alumni team plays an enjoyable game, mixing in some chicanery just for fun. And most important of all, the players take no compensation for their time, unlike other NHL alumni associations that pay their members.

For all of the reasons outlined above, the Red Wings Alumni Association is one of the most respected Alumni Associations of any major sports franchise. As two-time president Gary Bergman once said, "We enjoy each other's company, we raise money for a lot of nice people and we have fun doing it."

 

For more information please visit their website.